Monday, 20 December 2010

Various stuff

This morning I got up at 6am, which I am going to try and do from now on. Unfortunately it's very difficult as my bed is nice and comfy and warm while the room is cold.

I also decided that it would be a good idea to not have a shower as soon as I get up (like I normally do), but rather wait for the temperature to warm up a bit.

I switched my PC on, but it wouldn't go on. I looked at the UPS and the battery indicator wasn't showing. The UPS has been showing the battery charging continuously for the last couple of weeks, so I wasn't that surprised that the battery might be gone.

I had previously looked into the problem, but the UPS manual just says that if something goes wrong with it, then you need to get an authorised technician (or similar) to look at it.

I pressed the self test button on the UPS to see if that would do anything, and it did. Now instead of showing the voltage as 230V and the status as 'normal' it showed the voltage as 000V and the status as 'fault'.

So I got some normal plugs from the garage and plugged my PC and monitor into a normal power strip so I could the PC. I checked ebuyer, where I bought the UPS from, and found I bought it in July 2009, so it wouldn't be in warranty now. I looked at other UPS models, which seem to be quite expensive, especially given that my broken one was rated for 1000VA and only cost about £35.

Doing some research I found that thankfully you don't need to use a UPS that is rated the same or better than your PC's PSU. The rating given to a PSU like 500W or 600W is its maximum power draw. Under normal usage the power draw will be much less.

For the moment I think I'll go without a UPS, but in the future I'll probably buy a more expensive APC model like the Back-UPS CS 650. It's £80, but has replacement batteries available for about £25, and I expect the batteries last longer than the 1½ years my cheap UPS lasted.

Next I did some more website work.

An error quite often occurring in the website error logs was something like
2010/12/12 00:56:01 [error] 2297#0: *1135474 FastCGI sent in stderr: "PHP Notice:  ob_end_flush() [<a href='ref.outcontrol'>ref.outcontrol</a>]: failed to delete buffer zlib output compression. in /home/djeyewater/webapps/htdocs/photosite/blog/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3071" while reading response header from upstream
I had looked into this briefly before, but couldn't find a fix. I looked into it more deeply today and found a fix: Re: Error message after a jpegPhoto - msg#00001

The problem is caused by wordpress, in the includes/functions.php file. I edited the file and changed the wp_ob_end_flush_all function to the following:
 * Flush all output buffers for PHP 5.2.
 * Make sure all output buffers are flushed before our singletons our destroyed.
 * @since 2.2.0
function wp_ob_end_flush_all() {
 $levels = ob_get_level();
 //Edit by DK
 for ($i=0; $i<$levels; $i++){
  $obStatus = ob_get_status();
  if (!empty($obStatus['type']) && $obStatus['status']) {

Now I don't get the 'failed to delete buffer zlib output compression' error.

After correcting that and a few other errors, I then spent the rest of the morning and quite a bit of the afternoon working on improving the format of the weekly digest email my blog sends.

For a bit I did think of using Feedburner again (I investigated Feedburner previously when first setting up a mailing list). It would be so much easier to get a nice looking email using Feedburner than hacking the s2subscribe plugin like I am doing.

But Feedburner still has the same problem of needing to enter Google's tricky captcha, and I suspect they also require you to validate your email address. Generally with mailing lists you want to make them as easy to join as possible, not as difficult as possible.

In the afternoon I also went in the garden and took some photos of the frosty cobwebs and other frozen stuff.

In the evening I processed the photos I took in the afternoon and watched an episode of Star Trek TOS with Mauser and Bo. Star Trek was very strange as they didn't have any shots of Shatner with his top off, something which is normally included in every episode.

Also in the evening I made some Cinnamon Swirls with Bo, though only half the usual amount as we didn't have enough bread flour.

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